From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Mayo News 15 Dec 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
18, Dec 2004 - 00:21

Major revamp for Castlebar town

CASTLEBAR Town Centre is to expand even further with a major retail and residential development linking the Market Square area with the old Main Street. A total of 27,000 square feet is being developed as a new indoor shopping mall by Staunton Holdings Ltd., on a site which extends from the Market Square car-park through to the Main Street. The site currently incorporates the car-park at the back of Stauntons Gift Shop, Pharmacy and Opticians as well as the old Browneville complex and Homemaker Arcade.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better – more shops for Castlebar! Shop till you drop! Hoban’s car park will be no more. So where will the car boot sale move to? Who cares! Good riddance I say. An underground car park will take 140 cars. Castlebar's first underground car park (well - unless you count the odd car dumped out at that quarry or in the river of course). This plan won't just be turning the derelict wasteland of Hoban’s car park into a few shops, however, it will become a 'true shopping corridor'. In other words it will link Market Square to Main Street via "John Hanley’s" car park as I still call it many years after John Hanley has vacated the premises. It’s strange that we refer to our car parks by shop names that no longer exist – John Hanley’s on Market Square and Hoban’s late of Main Street and late of Chapel Street traffic lights. In other words the new scheme will provide a brand new 'rat run' through the town allowing you to drive from Main Street to Market Square through the car park and new shopping area. Later in the article there is a sentence that states that Castlebar is now "being talked about nationwide, where it is placed on a par with cities like Galway and Sligo". Mmmm.... I wonder did they get Monica Leach of decentralisation fame to spin some of her wonderful PR magic for the Gateway hub of Castlebar? But they do need planning permission first of course - and not just for Monica Leach.


Mayo companies are tops in energy efficiency

THREE Mayo companies have been recognised for their efficiency in energy use. Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Western Proteins and Baxter Healthcare SA are among Ireland’s leading companies for reducing the level of emissions of harmful greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

The companies have been taking part in an initiative entitled LIEN which was established eight years ago by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and aimed at improving the management and efficient use of energy in industry.

Great news indeed – and in this case I am not being jaundiced. Did you know that you can be just as neutral as Allergan? You can make your own household – even here in little old Mayo – carbon dioxide neutral? You can get a Carbon Neutral certificate for your own home – you might need to plant 20 or so trees in some exotic location like Mexico or Southeast Asia to soak up the 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide that a typical Mayo household might produce each year. How much does it cost? Well nothing if you have a garden big enough but about 300 euro if you want someone else to do the planting and take care of your CO2 emissions. Of course if you travel 15,000 miles in your car each year that will be another 3 tonnes and if you fly to, say, the USA and to Spain once a year that could be an additional 2 or 3 tonnes that you have to take care of. So 15 tonnes for your house plus 3 tonnes for your car and 2 for your holidays – it’s a lot of not so green living. You can see why we might be well over twice the average of 8 tonnes per person for Western Europe where people live in compact cities and energy efficient apartments compared with our bungalow blitzkrieg!

Corrib gas development gets under way

THE contract to remove almost half a million cubic meters of peat from the terminal site for Corrib gas in Bellanaboy is to be decided later this week. Letters inviting applications for work on the massive earthworks were sent out by Bord na Mona recently to all employees due to be laid off at the Oweninny works in Bellacorick, and it is expected the bulk of the 50-60 jobs created at the peat deposition site will be filled in early January. Residents in the area have accepted that the gas terminal development will now proceed, despite sustained opposition to it in recent years.

Speaking of greenhouse gases! How many trees will Shell Ireland have to plant to make up for all that peat never mind the bit of gas that they are going to pump around the country for burning? Well at least we here in Castlebar won’t be blamed for burning any of it – they won’t give it to us. So we go on using much more inefficient forms of heating like electricity, oil, turf and coal and of course producing much more carbon dioxide per capita as a result.

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